So many different types of trade and business, so many different transport requirements – but now experts have given advice on choosing the right van for the job.
Van lease giant Leasevan.co.uk outlined the factors that tradespeople should consider when selecting a vehicle, and the options that are available.
One of the first things to think about is the size of van required, and the size and weight of the loads it will be expected to carry.
Tradesmen also need to think about how the van will be loaded, the length of journeys and the types of roads to be travelled, and the number of passengers to be carried day to day.
As an example, a driver whose work calls for short, urban journeys will have different requirements to one who frequently drives long distances on uncertain roads.
Panel vans are a popular choice, as they come in a range of sizes and are good for carrying various loads.
They are often the vehicle of choice for skilled tradespeople such as plumbers and electricians.
Small vans are compact and functional, and suitable for urban driving where there are not many bulky items to load.
Another good option for tradespeople who do not have much to carry is pickup trucks, so favoured because of their similarity to ordinary cars. They are ideal for operatives that deliver occasional goods.
Roofing businesses with a lot of long ladders should consider a long wheel base van, which are known for their load carrying capacities. Lutons are especially spacious.
Chassis vans are so named because they are effectively a van chassis, with or without a cab, and easily convertible for various requirements.
They are therefore a good choice for tradespeople whose work requires modifications such as tippers.
For tradespeople who have to carry numerous passengers, a Transit crew cab van may be the best option.
Flat bedded and with opening sides, dropside trucks are aptly named and favoured in the building and gardening trades.
Other types of van include 4x4s (mostly for a niche market driving in difficult terrain or unfavourable conditions) and the very compact microvan.
Tim Alcock of Leasevan.co.uk said: “For tradesmen whose work takes them all over the place, choosing the right van is absolutely essential.
“It needs to be reliable and efficient, but it’s also vital that it can carry whatever loads are required – load access is a key point too.
“If you’re buying or leasing a commercial van, don’t be afraid to talk to the provider about your business and the requirements you have – they’ll be able to help.
“You should also take a test drive before committing yourself to anything, as there’s no substitute for actually trying the vehicle out.
“There are so many different types of business, no one van is going to suit everybody, but there are enough options available that all tradesmen will be able to find what they need.
“Definitely don’t be tempted to get a smaller van than you actually need just because it’s cheaper and has fewer emissions – an overloaded van is very dangerous and won’t be as reliable as one that’s actually suited to the work it will be doing.”